The Gadget Show Plays BF3 Better Than You

The face of a man driven insane by gaming.

This is how I’m going to play all games from now on.

Channel 5’s peculiar The Gadget Show decided to create the “ultimate simulator” for playing Battlefield 3. Which sounds like a recipe for the worst thing ever. Except, well, this is brilliant. Omni-direction treadmill floor, 180 degree HD projection, 800 LEDs of ambient lighting, hacked Kinects for pose recognition, and twelve paintball guns providing very realistic feedback of being shot. Which is bloody brilliant.

It’s first played by Johnny-Minkley sound-alike Jason Bradbury, but then they bring an expert in… Andy McNab. Which sort of underlines this as a publicity exercise by EA for Battlefield, what with the claim that he supposedly has anything to do with it being shouted at any opportunity. But if you switch it off before the pompous idiot pretends he still can’t show his face, while showing almost all of his face, it’s a pretty good watch.

I’m also impressed by how they had a copy of BF3 at least six weeks before release, when EA refused to send copies to the British games press until release day.


  1. faillord_adam says:

    I saw that. I still don’t understand why it would have to be THAT immersive. Seems like a waste of money to me. Still, you can’t do this on Consoles!

    • battles_atlas says:

      Clue: “The Gadget Show decided to create the “ultimate simulator””

    • Wunce says:

      They spent so much time saying how scary it was, I couldn’t help but feel that there are a number of other games they should try out with it…. (assuming it’s still set up)

      Amnesia comes to mind.

    • psyk says:

      Is the fear a result of having paintball guns pointing at them or because they are more immersed in the game.

    • Calneon says:

      A mixture of both. Paintball guns provide the fear of getting shot, immersion makes them seem like real guns.

    • Nim says:

      I want that simulator, I want Skyrim and I want a suit of full-plate armor, sword and shield. I’d never have to work out ever again.

      And add fans to get that Skyrim North wind going…

    • Dhatz says:

      you have to move more than how you move in game, the dome is not 360 vertically, the camera and gun anims arent hacked at all and don’t even mention 3D.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      If you crouch down behind cover, does the paint on you gradually fade away?

    • Richeh says:

      Nim, come out of the closet and go LARPing. Nobody’s going to judge you. To your face.

    • QuackingPlums says:

      It would appear that they’re using a paintball training product like Reball, so there’s no actual paint. I’m not sure what would be more dangerous – gooey paintball grease all over the rollers or little hard balls of rubber under your feet on an already moving surface…

    • Cim says:

      That gives me an idea… how about an Condemned simulator? Only except when an enemy sees you, instead of painball guns, a crazed murder is released into the dome.

    • theleif says:

      I would never, ever want to play Amnesia in that thing, i hardly dare to play it for more than 20-30 mins at the time on my screen.
      But i would love to see someone else do it!

  2. psyk says:

    He wrote a “book” for the game No russia or No russian one of them

    EDIT – Ok it’s called “The Russian”

  3. Lewie Procter says:

    I wonder how they did all the quick time events with that set up.

    • Calneon says:

      Jumping. Lots.

    • theleif says:

      He only had 2 buttons on the gun and jump and crouch “embodied”, so i guess there where someone else pressing the other buttons. E (the use button) for example.

  4. Rinox says:

    Bringing in McNab seemed kind of redundant, but other than that this is amazing.

  5. PopeBob says:

    While he was definitely not necessary for the story, I’m not terribly familiar with Mr. McNab- what makes him such a pompous ass?

    • CMaster says:

      Ex-SAS (british spec-ops) turned author. Made his name writing about the aforementioned Bravo-Two-Zero mission in Iraq, which was something of a fiasco.

    • vandinz says:

      And now hated by all to do with the SAS.

    • celozzip says:

      link to

      that isn’t mcnab i dunno why they put that pic there. mcnab is supposedly the grey haired guy in the bf3 trailer with the scarring on the left side of his face. i haven’t played through all the campaign yet but he seems to be in black/blue sas gear. anyone know if he has an english accent in the game?

    • Elmar Bijlsma says:

      I’m going to cry foul on calling Mr McNab a pompous idiot. His résumé is not that of an idiot and I would go so far as to say it warrants some degree of pompousness.

    • Muzman says:

      He seems pretty low key for the most part, but the “hidden identity” biz seems like a bit of a wank these days. He’s famous as all hell and why he keeps his face a secret isn’t a secret. There’s enough bits of his face shown in interviews to give a decent amount for any ex IRA with a grudge to figure it out, I reckon. (even if there weren’t pictures around, I mean)

      Where’s that hilarious comedy bit someone did making fun of his “Tom Clancy by way of Dan Brown” writing style?

    • ChainsawCharlie says:

      Good writer actually

    • Tams80 says:

      I find him to be a pretty more writer. His voice was really annoying as well.

    • JagRoss says:

      In his book “Bravo Two Zero” his team of five guys apparently screamed “Let’s do it” and charged two armored personal carriers head on.

    • vagabond says:

      Robert Rigby co-authoured a series of books with McNab. If you look at the page you linked which has pictures of all Rigby’s books, it’s the set of four with McNab’s name larger than the actual book titles.

  6. LieutLaww says:

    Former member of the SAS, part of the Bravo Two Zero Patrol

    edit damn beaten to it :p

  7. DigitalSignalX says:

    Looks like a lot of fun, but wouldn’t the paintball turrets break immersion by being between the player and the video?

  8. DanPryce says:

    It is imperative that we all get Gamebubbles at once.

  9. Dobleclick says:

    I saw this somewhere else some time ago and found it terribly enfuriating. That bald guy is a bad liar, and I don’t like being lied to. He talks about his experience in the simulator as if it was the best moment in his life, whereas I’ve got the distinct impression that any gamer stepping out of this thing would be sorely disappointed. Forget about aiming, running, and lying down. I honestly wished his mask would somehow fall off and then get a good paintball shot in the eye.

    Such a good multiplayer game doesn’t deserve such crappy marketing.

    • pacificator says:

      That was exactly my thought.

    • psyk says:

      “Forget about aiming, running, and lying down”


      It would be easy to do all those things it’s called moving around. Seriously how unhealthy do you have to be to think you wouldn’t be able to do what you mention.

    • JackShandy says:

      You can obviously aim, the video shows him doing it. It seems like you probably couldn’t sprint flat-out, but it shows jogging. You could definitely configure kinect to recognize you lying down – seems like they didn’t go that far.

    • Calneon says:

      Uh, what? It looks fucking amazing to me, I’d love to give it a go. You can run, aim, and crouch (lying down wouldn’t be hard to implement).

    • battles_atlas says:

      Jason is about the only tech-related TV ‘personality’ who I can watch without the need to push my thumbs through my eyes. In fact I actively like him. So there.

    • Jim9137 says:

      I may be a silly ignorant doofus, but I distinctly remember them configuring kinect at one point to allow for jumping and crouching and what have you. But who lies down in BF3 anyway?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I prefer Click… granted they all come across as trying to “get down with the youf”, except replace “youf” with “nerdz”.

      I think I’d prefer Aleks Krotoski to get some proper TV airtime again.

  10. 20thCB says:

    Omigod those STAIRCASES!

  11. vandinz says:

    I can’t stand that Apple loving twat. The show is a joke now, the only one I take serious is Jon and he’s not much cop.

    • Dozer says:

      Because Apple users are…?

      I still subscribe to the stereotype that Apple products are overpriced and controlling and anyone paying to use them is a victim of good brand advertising, but I know now not to hold onto my preconceptions so firmly.

  12. celozzip says:

    can’t stand these idiots, glad it’s on youtube now so i can skip past the bald elton john wannabe and the 40 year old botoxed fag-hag to get to the good stuff, i guess.

  13. Bhazor says:

    Honestly I gave up at “It takes watching tv to an all new level”. That LED guy was supremely creepy.

    Seen something similar before anyway, it was a gimmick then and tying it into a twenty minute advert does not make me want to see it again.

  14. SpinalJack says:

    Best episode of The Gadget show yet

  15. Radiant says:

    It’s the Gadget Show.
    The only thing it was good for was entering it’s competitions when it first started and nobody was watching. [won twice!]

    • Cooper says:


      It used to be on at some absurd time, no one watched it and even less bothered entering. And they’d give away all sorts of things wot blink at you and go beep.

      Even better, you didn’t have to watch it – just go to their website. Baldy was annoying even back then. Before those bloody stupid glasses he wears now.

    • Koozer says:

      I concur. He almost looks like a normal human being without a stupid hat and silly glasses.

  16. Chief RunningWall says:

    Well that’s all fine and dandy, but I gotta ask, Why am I looking at an xbox and a macbook on a pc gaming site?

  17. Drake Sigar says:

    RPG in the FACEEEEE!

    I know everyone got screwed in that whole world of tomorrow sell, but I think gamers got the worst of it. This is the interface we should have, yet we’re still stuck improving broken 80s tech.

  18. tossrStu says:

    I’m Andy McNab
    I’m Andy McNab
    I’m Andy McNab
    I’m Andie MacDowell

  19. Nathan says:

    I’m not sure that they did get the full game 6 weeks before release, given the only level that they’re shown playing is the one that was extensively demoed and shown prior to launch.

  20. Lemming says:

    Well what a bunch of miserable sods you all are! I thought this was brilliant! Would love to have a go on that!

    If you did it with Dead Space or Amnesia you’d probably have to sign something that starts ‘in the event of my death…’

    • Richeh says:

      And they’d have to set it up to catapult big floppy zombie mannequins at you from all directions instead of bullets.

      And waterproof the rollers.

    • Dozer says:

      Oh goodness yes.

  21. Chickenfeed says:

    Does anyone wanna chip in to buy one of these for ArmA?

    I know you want to…

  22. Richeh says:

    The Gadget Show is fun, but it’s basically Top Gear for tech nerds. Entertaining, yes, but I’d basically assume any words leaving their mouths were bought and paid for.

    One thing did strike me:

    Move forward – walk on slippy rollers

    Jump – Jump on the spot

    Which means “jump forwards” was mapped to the “launch self forwards, slip onto arse” key combination. Sadly not mentioned at all, although it would have probably been hilarious.

    • Tams80 says:

      Top Gear is actually funny (subjective).

      I do still like watching the Gadget Show though, even if it is like reading tech website comments.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      It’s Top Gear for nerds, with 5th Gear’s budget and presenters.

    • thebluemonkey81 says:

      difference is top gear’s good.

      Also, it’s paid for by the BBC so their opinions on cars and such are less bought than they are on the gadget show.

  23. hjd_uk says:

    So much hate.

    Franky I think that setup is awesome – I want one.

    I’m gleefully imagining a TF2 version…..

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      what an utter waste of money says I, I would prefer a programme about buildung hospitals or schools in Africa

  24. Col says:

    John is right about the Johnny-Minkley voice. Like, I’m sure Mr. Minkley is a lovely man, and he does write great reviews for EG, but his weird forced Newsround-esque TV intonation is utterly ridiculous.

  25. Felixader says:

    SO MUCH FAKE EMOTIONS and awfull acting!

  26. UmmonTL says:

    Wow that show is over the top. The reaching out with the hand thing reminds me of Molineaux gushing about the kinect.
    Anyways, I wouldn’t use that thing to play battlefield. I say play Amnesia on it, experience true horror. Although the paintball guns aren’t really that immersive when you are supposedly getting slashed by a monster.

    • thebluemonkey81 says:

      they could make one for amnesia and just have a grizzly bear do the slashing. I’d pay to see that bald twunt get mauld tbh.

  27. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I stopped watching it after 12 minutes – there is only that much of product placement and advertisement badly disguised as a tv programme I can stomach…

    • QuackingPlums says:

      This entire show is about product placement and Suzi wosserface’s ego. Every challenge is just made up of companies desperate to show off their tech on TV, who immediately regret it because this bunch of talentless prima-donnas turn up and break everything in the name of good telly.

      Having said that, I’d love to watch someone try to dolphin dive on those rollers… recipe for some broken elbows…

  28. Uglycat says:

    Damnit I even control-F’d for the quote :|

  29. Tams80 says:

    I’d give it a go, as it does look very fun.

    I wonder why the “weapon” wouldn’t track properly in the beginning though…

  30. Synesthesia says:

    this is almost exactly what i wanted to play since i was like 10 years old, treadmill and all. Will i live to see this as something even slightly standarized? Maybe on the future arcades? Or will we all be hunched up over some iphone?

  31. psyk says:

    And it’s in a brightly lit room

  32. YourMessageHere says:

    Interesting. So:

    – why a projector and not a VR type helmet/screen? I can see an argument for environmental awareness, but that kind of spoils things. Plus, you could look up and down properly.
    – why a giant pointless iphone with glowing baubles which doesn’t even use the screen, and not a wiimote in a gun peripheral? There’s various tried and tested ways to make them work on PC completely for free.
    – how do you interact/reload/sprint/drive a tank/do anything other than walk, aim and shoot?
    – how do you sidestep?

    • thebluemonkey81 says:

      It’s the gadget show, it’s not a very good show

  33. thebluemonkey81 says:

    I really hate this show. To the extent of nose cutting off to spite face levels of distain. As such I can not endorse such a massive waste of money.

    now that japanese mech warrior arcade game where you climb inside a mech…. that’s awesome

  34. DeanLearner says:

    They should have got Jon Bentley to review various gun scopes in that adorable pseudo enthusiastic style of his. Bless him.

  35. JLeach says:

    I’m not quite sure why people are so excited about this. If you want to “experience” war, join the army.